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Long Island Sound Study (LISS)

Grants to USA Nonprofits, For-Profits, IHEs, and
Agencies for Long Island Sound Conservation Research

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Connecticut Sea Grant (CTSG) and New York Sea Grant (NYSG)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

10/03/18 5:00 PM EDT


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Grants to USA faculty and researchers and IHEs, nonprofits, government agencies, and for-profits for conservation research related to Long Island Sound. Pre-proposals are due June 20. The purpose of this program is to fund research that will improve the environmental management of Long Island Sound and its natural resources.

Topic Areas:

Topic areas address the 2015 Long Island Sound Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP), specifically the research required to address the Ecosystem Targets and the Outcomes, Objectives, Strategies, and Implementation Actions outlined in the CCMP.

The purpose of this Call is to support research that will produce and integrate information to fill identified gaps in our understanding and extend the ability of managers to make informed decisions and take appropriate management actions to prevent, reduce, or mitigate anthropogenic stressors and enhance the health and sustainability of the Sound. Referring to specific Ecosystem Targets and Strategies identified in the CCMP will facilitate reviewers’ assessment of proposals for responsiveness and relevance.

Preliminary proposals (i.e., pre-proposals) in any of the five Topic Areas listed below are invited in this funding cycle:

1. Synthesize information that contributes directly to our ability to understand and manage anthropogenic perturbations to LIS. Example topics include but are not limited to: syntheses of LIS water quality, habitat, and/or other monitoring data to illuminate long-term trends, highlight changes, and test relationships among drivers and response variables. These syntheses need to address major LIS Ecosystem Targets as described in the 2015 CCMP such as Extent of Hypoxia and Coastal Habitat Extent or others. Such projects could use data from a variety of sources, including the CT DEEP water quality monitoring, phytoplankton and zooplankton data, Interstate Environmental Commission western LIS monitoring data, Long Island Sound Coastal Observing System (LISICOS), satellite imagery, and others. Synthetic studies could potentially combine datasets to test novel hypotheses (The Buzzards Bay1 and Tampa Bay2 National Estuary Programs have recently published syntheses of water quality monitoring data to demonstrate trends and improvements. A large group associated with the Chesapeake Bay Program3 also synthesized 30 years of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) distribution data.).

2. Determine the magnitude and variability, both spatially and temporally, of water column respiration in LIS and the controls on this process. A recent review1 has shown that in estuaries more than 20 m deep, most of the oxygen utilization occurs in the water column. This use of oxygen in the water column is a major contributor to LIS hypoxia in the Western Sound and an important parameter for the next generation of LIS models, but is presently not well-constrained. Emphasis should include identification of the components and sources of organic matter, both from in-situ production and allochthonous watershed sources.

3. Improve our knowledge of LIS ecosystem parameters important to management using remote sensing. This research could involve parameters such as temperature, salinity, chlorophyll a, sediments, colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM), and others. It could utilize archived data to address climate and other changes over time and use or develop proxies for other parameters not readily measured by satellite or other remote sensing platforms. Remote sensing-related proposals will address major LIS Ecosystem Targets such as Coastal Habitat Extent, Water Clarity, or other parameters like chlorophyll a which is related to the Nitrogen Loading Ecosystem Target . Proposals should demonstrate how remote sensing can be validated for integration with ongoing observation programs to improve understanding of Long Island Sound in ways critical for management.

4. Identify and address impediments to increasing eelgrass acreage in LIS. The 2015 CCMP has two Ecosystem Targets specifically focused on eelgrass: Improve Water Clarity by 2035 to support healthy eelgrass communities and attainment of the eelgrass extent target, and Eelgrass Extent: restore and maintain an additional 2,000 acres of eelgrass by 2035 from a 2012 baseline of 2,061 acres. Eelgrass is currently confined to the eastern end of LIS, although in theory a much larger area of the Sound should be available for colonization (See the LIS Habitat Suitability Index Model. Preliminary information from the most recent 2017 eelgrass survey indicates a possible 23% loss of eelgrass from the previous total of 2,061 acres in 2012. Research is needed to identify factors which may limit eelgrass in LIS, including water clarity, temperature, water quality, and others, and to develop management strategies for addressing these limitations. Research is also needed to clarify factors that limit the success of restoration projects. Research projects may involve a variety of methods, though investigators contemplating remote sensing applications to eelgrass coverage may want to contact those involved in the current regional EPA RARE Eelgrass Project.

5. Assess the knowledge and engagement of Long Island Sound watershed residents in Connecticut and New York relating to enhancing behaviors that contribute to environmental stewardship. The LISS supported a 2006 Public Perception Survey1 (PPS) to better understand the perceptions, knowledge, and behaviors of Long Island Sound watershed residents. The survey provided information on the relationship between citizens’ perception of water quality and their enjoyment of Long Island Sound as well as on whether knowledge and awareness of environmental issues increased willingness to practice behaviors that reduce pollution. LISS is seeking further social science research that will provide an update and comparison to the 2006 study, and assess if other factors such as community norms influence behaviors, in addition to perceptions, awareness, and knowledge. The information should help LISS and its partners identify the direction of future behaviors and develop educational and outreach efforts. The research could also help LISS track the CCMP’s Public Engagement and Knowledge Ecosystem Target by providing new data points to the 2006 baseline. Relevant topics, include, but are not limited to:

-Homeowners’ understanding of the contribution of lawn care practices to water pollution and their willingness to adopt new behaviors.
-Homeowners’ understanding of the impacts of other behaviors that impact the Sound, such as improper disposal of pet waste, trash, including plastics and other pollutants such as used motor oil.
-Greater understanding of how citizens’ perceptions of Long Island Sound impact their enjoyment of recreational activities such as swimming, fishing, boating, or consuming local fish and shellfish.
-Greater understanding of what motivates Long Island Sound residents to volunteer and engage in community activities to improve the Sound.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 183633

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

The total budget request for a project may not exceed $400,000 for the entire project, or $200,000 for each year, including all direct and indirect costs.

Term of Contract:

Preliminary proposals are invited for the funding period of March 1, 2019 to February 28, 2021. Any investigator seeking support for this period (or portion thereof) may apply.

The first year of the funding period covered by this Call for Preliminary Proposals begins on March 1, 2019. Allocation of Year 2 funds, if applicable, will be contingent on satisfactory progress in Year 1.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Pre-proposals from the following eligible categories will be considered for funding:
A. Faculty at universities and colleges,
B. Researchers at not-for-profit institutions,
C. Researchers who are personnel of state or local agencies, and
D. Researchers at for-profit institutions or companies.

Eligibility is not limited to individuals from New York and Connecticut. However, the primary professional base of the lead investigator must be in the United States. U.S. citizens located in other countries are not eligible. Federal employees and institutions are not eligible to receive compensation, equipment, or budgeted items of any sort, but they may be involved with the project. Students and NYSG and CTSG staff cannot serve as Principal Investigators, co-PIs, or Associate Investigators. Members of the STAC may serve as PIs or co-PIs and may receive funding under this initiative.

Pre-Application Information:

The completed Pre-proposal Submission Form must be received by the closing deadline of 5:00 PM EDT on June 20, 2018.

Each lead applicant will be notified by August 13, 2018, about whether or not a full proposal is encouraged. A summary of Panel results will be provided by August 30, 2018. Note that submission of full proposals will only be encouraged for those prospective principal investigators with the highest-ranked preliminary proposals following the Panel review and evaluation.

For those investigators encouraged to submit full proposals, the deadline for these full proposals is Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at 5:00 PM EDT.

-May 10, 2018: Sea Grant announces Call for Pre-proposals
-June 20: Pre-proposals are due by 5:00 p.m. EDT via
-August 13: Sea Grant notifies lead investigators about whether or not a full proposal is encouraged
-August 30: Sea Grant distributes to all lead investigators a summary of Pre-proposal Review Panel results for his/her submission
-October 3: Full proposals are due by 5:00 p.m. EDT via
-December 17: Sea Grant notifies lead investigators about decisions
-January 7: Provide peer reviews and a summary of Full Proposal Review Panel results
-March 1, 2019: Year 1 funding starts; the completion, submission and approval of a QAPP is required. No data collection can be conducted by PIs until a QAPP has been approved.
-March 1, 2020: Year 2 funding starts if a QAPP has been submitted and approved and Year 1 progress is satisfactory.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

Dr. Syma A. Ebbin, Research Coordinator
Connecticut Sea Grant College Program
University of Connecticut
1080 Shennecossett Road
Groton, CT 06340-6048
Tel. (860) 405-9278

Mr. Lane Smith, Research Coordinator
New York Sea Grant
125A Nassau Hall
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-5001
Tel. (631) 632-6906

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

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